Florida is home to numerous betting options both on the internet and in the actual world. Legal online gambling in Florida currently includes horse racing betting, greyhound betting and daily fantasy sports. In the physical realm, Florida has horse racing betting, bingo, traditional casinos and jai alai betting.
Sports betting in Florida does not appear likely at the moment. The state has long been eyed as a major potential market for sports gambling, but modifications to state authorities have made any future gaming expansions more difficult as they currently require a statewide referendum initiated by petition.
Legal Online Betting Options
Let’s start with a fast collection of legal Florida betting sites and then dig into every detail below.
Sports Gambling:
RankBetting SiteBonusRatingVisit
1
100% up to $50
18+ to Play, T&Cs Apply Inspection PLAY NOW
Fantasy Sports:
RankBetting SiteBonusRatingVisit
1
Up to 4 Free Entries
18/21+ to Play, T&Cs Employ Review PLAY NOW
2
Free Contest Entry
18/21+ to Perform, T&Cs Employ Inspection PLAY NOW
Horse and Greyhound Betting:
RankBetting SiteBonusRatingVisit
1
$20 Free + 100% up to $100
18/21+ to Play, T&Cs Apply Inspection PLAY NOW
2
100% up to $100
18/21+ to Perform, T&Cs Employ Inspection PLAY NOW
3
Wager $500, Get $100
18/21+ to Perform, T&Cs Apply Review PLAY NOW
Horse and Greyhound Racing
Online horse racing and greyhound betting are legal in Florida for decades and a variety of major racing websites accept clients from the Sunshine State. BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG all accept Florida clients and are licensed directly here in america.
BetAmerica Review
TwinSpires Review
TVG Review
In November 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 13 to end greyhound racing. The amendment made greyhound racing and gambling on live greyhound races held in Florida illegal beginning on January 1st, 2021.
Existing racetracks will nevertheless be allowed to provide poker and other games following the change takes effect, however they will no longer be able to host live greyhound races. This amendment has no effect on internet greyhound racing, which will remain legal because the change only attempts to prevent wagers put on races held in the country.
Fantasy Sports
The legal problem for fantasy sports in Florida is complicated and unclear, but most daily fantasy sites have served the state for years with no interference from officials.
Multiple attempts to officially legalize fantasy sports in Florida have failed over the years because of disputes over how the action should be categorized and the complexity of tribal gaming contracts between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
A 1991 Attorney General opinion lumped season-long dream sports in with gaming and opined it is most likely illegal under state legislation, but the opinion is obsolete and doesn’t hold legal weight. As much as lawmakers want to explain the legal status of fantasy sports, progress has been slow. In the meantime, Florida residents are approved at both FanDuel and DraftKings:
FanDuel Review
DraftKings Review
Skill Games
Florida gaming law allows games of skill only if entry fees do not directly lead to the prize pool. What this signifies is that it is legal to pay an entry fee and compete for a set prize, but to not play in a contest where all of the entrance fees are collected to form the decoration pool .
For instance, it could be legal to sponsor a paid-entry golf tournament in the event the organizers set fixed prizes which don’t change no matter how many men and women enter the championship. The exact same tournament would cross the line into illegal land if prizes were decided by pooling entrance fees and paying the winners a percentage of the prize pool.
A 1990 comment from the Attorney General summed it up as follows:
«Accordingly, I am of the view that a contest of skill, such as a hole-in-one golf competition, where the contestant pays an entrance fee, which does not constitute the decoration, for the opportunity to win a prized trophy from the exercise of skill, doesn’t violate the gaming laws of the nation. To the extent that previous views of the office may be inconsistent with the conclusion reached herein, they are modified.»
WorldWinner.com, that is currently the largest skill gaming site, accepts residents of Florida but limits them from particular contests where the prize pool isn’t fixed. Follow the link below to read more about WorldWinner:
WorldWinner Review
What about the state lottery?
Florida DOES NOT sell lottery tickets online nor does it provide a subscription service. Obviously, you could always try your luck at Experienced lottery resellers that you can discover online. I don’t suggest going that path though. It’s still illegal to sell lottery tickets on the internet in Florida so any website involved in the company is totally unregulated and probably located overseas.
Nobody actually understands how secure or legit overseas lottery resellers are. They claim to have a staff of representatives located around the globe whose job it is to go around and buy lottery tickets on behalf of consumers. The issue is there’s no way to confirm how it really works.
If you would like to play the lottery, it is ideal to just go buy your tickets in person. You really don’t want to leave the fate of your $40 million jackpot at the hands of a overseas, quasi-legal site. States do have the ability to sell tickets online, but Florida doesn’t yet do that.
Sports Betting in Florida
Sports gambling is illegal for besides 2 exceptions: jai alai betting and cruise ships that sail to international waters to offer sports betting.
The exemption for jai alai betting dates back to a time in Florida during which jai alai was much bigger than the obscure sport it’s today. Jai alai arrived to Florida in the 1920s, and the nation turned into somewhat of an epicenter for jai alai players across the world because of warm weather year-round and easy accessibility from Spain and Latin America, where jai alai is a favorite.
Through its heyday, jai alai was even exempted from state and federal sports gambling prohibitions. Jai alai preserved a strong presence in Florida through the 1970s but entered a continuous decline in the 1980s amid rising competition from professional sports clubs, the South and lottery Florida casinos.
Nowadays, jai alai is a fairly niche game and there are just a couple of busy frontons in operation today. For the most part, jai alai survives now primarily due to Florida gaming laws that require card rooms to offer you some kind of parimutuel wagering (for instance, jai alai, greyhound racing or horse racing gambling ). Thus, most jai alai frontons exist primarily to facilitate different forms of gaming.
The other»exception» into Florida’s sports gambling prohibition happens on the cruise ships operated by Victory Casino Cruises. Victory Casino Cruise ships leave twice a day out of Port Canaveral. These ships sail into international waters, open a casino and sportsbook for a couple hours and then come back to beach later that exact same day.
As far as a widespread legalization of sport betting, Florida does not appear likely to expand its gaming choices any time soon. There have been no efforts to introduce sports gambling legislation and there have been no recent attempts to legalize sports gambling.
A report by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming listed the 32 countries likely to legalize sports betting within five years of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the national prohibition of sports betting. Florida wasn’t contained in that listing, but it had been included in a supplemental list of all 12 additional states inclined to legalize sports gambling within seven decades of such a ruling.
Can Sports Betting Ever Be Legalized in Florida?
Aside from the exceptions mentioned previously, sports betting remains prohibited in Florida and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Florida has a complex mixture of competing interests between lawmakers, Tribal issues as well as the Disney business that have their own opinions on the growth of gambling.
The odds of Florida legalizing sports betting any time soon took a hit in 2018 when voters approved a ballot measure that basically stripped the state legislature from authorizing any gambling expansion, such as sports gambling.
Formerly, the state legislature could have possibly drafted a law to make Florida sports gambling legal. Under the new amendment, Florida citizens would have to initiate a campaign to collect signatures to put the issue to a statewide referendum. Subsequently, Republicans would need to approve that referendum by 60 percent to make sports gambling legal. It’s possible, but not very likely at this time.
Is it legal to wager online in Florida?
It depends on what your definition of»lawful» is. A couple of forms of online betting are explicitly legal in Florida (horses, greyhounds, fantasy and ability ). It is obviously illegal to operate an online casino, card room or some other company that accepts wagers without the proper licensing.
What is not clear is whether it is a crime to place bets online at unlicensed betting websites. The key text in Florida’s gaming laws reads as follows:
«849.08 Betting. Whoever plays or engages in any sport , keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, anytime, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second level…»
It seems fairly apparent that this law makes it a misdemeanor offense to participate in obvious gambling games such as slot machines, slots, blackjack, craps and so forth. The part that states»by any device whatever» is readily interpreted to incorporate the world wide web. On the other hand, the country has never once prosecuted one person for the mere act of placing bets online. Hunting down individuals playing blackjack in their computers just isn’t a priority.
Internet poker is a different matter. The above law does not explicitly cite»poker» although it does say»any game at cards.» But — there is always a however — that the term»other game of chance» appears to imply that only games of chance have been prohibited. If poker isn’t a game of chance, this law doesn’t apply.
It doesn’t end there, folks. You and I might not believe poker a game of chance, but certain state and federal laws most certainly do define poker as exactly that. Florida law doesn’t specify games of chance nor does it mention poker and there’s absolutely no case law to fall back on.
Someone would have to push the thing before we ever get Florida’s view on the situation of poker being ability or fortune. This likely won’t happen anytime soon because nobody is searching down poker players .
What the Future Holds for Internet Gambling in Florida
A growing number of states are in the process of legalizing online casino and poker games following a federal judge ruled in 2011 the Wire Act of 1961 only applies to sports gambling. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have already legalized either internet poker, casino games or both. State legislators in Florida haven’t yet moved to change anything. No legislation is pending in this moment.
It does not seem like anything will be changing in Florida any time soon either. The state is largely opposed to the growth of internet gambling. In April of 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott expressed his opposition to expanding online gambling at the federal level with a letter directed to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
In the years since, there have been no real attempts to alter Florida gambling laws. The present status quo appears quite likely to remain as it is for the near future.

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